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Standards


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Standards 2010: Standard 4

Diversity

Candidates create and engage their students in literacy practices that develop awareness, understanding, respect, and a valuing of differences in our society.

The Diversity Standard focuses on the need to prepare teachers to build and engage their students in a curriculum that places value on the diversity that exists in our society, as featured in elements such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, and language. This standard is grounded in a set of principles and understandings that reflect a vision for a democratic and just society and inform the effective preparation of reading professionals.

The following are the major assumptions of the Standards 2010 Committee for developing this standard and its elements:

  • Diversity will be as much a reality in the future as it is in our lives today and has been in the lives of our predecessors.
  • There is a tradition of “deficit” thinking and discourse in the context of diversity and schooling. As a society, we are not far removed from a time when cultural deprivation was an accepted term.
  • Diversity is a potential source of strength of a society to be encouraged not discouraged. Diversity is the basis for adaptability to change, and change is the only certainty in the future.
  • Creating a curriculum that values diversity requires that teacher educators and teachers step outside their personal experiences within a particular linguistic, ethnic, or cultural group to experience the offerings of other groups.
  • The elements of diversity in a society cannot be isolated within that society and certainly not within an individual. The elements of diversity interact in the form of multiple identities that may move from the background into the foreground as a function of the context and the moment.
  • There is a danger in overgeneralizing (i.e., stereotyping) characteristics to all members of a group.
  • Language-minority students need appropriate and different language and literacy instruction if they are to be successful academically while they learn English.
  • It is the responsibility of teachers and schools not only to prepare learners in ways that value their diversity but also to prepare those learners to engage in active citizenship to redress areas of inequity and privilege.

Elements

Element 4.1

Candidates recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write.

Evidence that demonstrates competence may include, but is not limited to, the following for each professional role.

Education Support Personnel Candidates
  • Recognize the forms of diversity in their own lives and understand how these may limit or enable their reading and writing.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the forms of diversity that exist in society, with a particular focus on individual and group differences that have been used to marginalize some and privilege others.
  • Value diversity as a resource in a functioning democratic society.
Pre-K and Elementary Classroom Teacher Candidates
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which diversity can be used to strengthen a literate society, making it more productive, more adaptable to change, and more equitable.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of urban, suburban, and rural environments on local culture, language, and learning to read and write.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which the various forms of diversity interact with reading and writing development.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between first- and second-language acquisition and literacy development.
Middle and High School Content Classroom Teacher Candidates
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which diversity can be used to strengthen a literate society, making it more productive, more adaptable to change, and more equitable.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of urban, suburban, and rural environments on local culture, language, and learning to read and write.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which various forms of diversity interact with adolescent literacy development and content area learning.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between first- and second-language acquisition and literacy development.
Middle and High School Reading Classroom Teacher Candidates
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which diversity can be used to strengthen a literate society, making it more productive, more adaptable to change, and more equitable.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of urban, suburban, and rural environments on local culture, language, and learning to read and write.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which diversity influences adolescent literacy development.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between first- and second-language acquisition and literacy development.
Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach Candidates
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which diversity influences the reading and writing development of all students, especially those who struggle with reading and writing.
  • Assist teachers in developing reading and writing instruction that is responsive to diversity.
  • Assist teachers in understanding the relationship between first- and second-language acquisition and literacy development.
  • Engage the school community in conversations about research on diversity and how diversity impacts reading and writing development.
Teacher Educator Candidates
  • Demonstrate an understanding of current theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence related to diversity and reading and writing development.
  • Prepare preservice teachers and other reading professionals to understand the relationship between first- and second-language acquisition and literacy development.
Administrator Candidates
  • Examine, evaluate, and articulate how students’ diversity informs pedagogy, the selection of curricula, and professional development practices.
  • Support and collaborate with teachers, parents and guardians, and community members to provide experiences that are responsive to students’ diverse needs.
  • Plan for and sustain school cultures that are supportive of the diversity that exists among teachers and students.

 

Element 4.2

Candidates use a literacy curriculum and engage in instructional practices that positively impact students’ knowledge, beliefs, and engagement with the features of diversity.

Education Support Personnel Candidates
  • Describe specific aspects of school and community experiences that can be used to reveal students’ diversity and engage them in learning.
  • Assist in instructional practices that are linked to students’ diversity and which also acquaint them with others’ traditions and diversity.
  • Assist in instructional practices that engage students as agents of their own learning.
Pre-K and Elementary Classroom Teacher Candidates
  • Assess the various forms of diversity that exist in students as well as in the surrounding community.
  • Provide differentiated instruction and instructional materials, including traditional print, digital, and online resources, that capitalize on diversity.
  • Provide instruction and instructional materials that are linked to students’ backgrounds and facilitate a learning environment in which differences and commonalities are valued (e.g., use literature that reflects the experiences of marginalized groups and the strategies they use to overcome challenges).
  • Provide instruction and instructional formats that engage students as agents of their own learning.
Middle and High School Content Classroom Teacher Candidates
  • Assess the various forms of diversity that exist in students as well as in the surrounding community.
  • Provide differentiated instruction and instructional materials, including traditional print, digital, and online resources, that capitalize on diversity.
  • Provide instructional formats that engage students as agents of their own learning.
Middle and High School Reading Classroom Teacher Candidates
  • Assess the various forms of diversity that exist in students as well as in the surrounding community.
  • Provide differentiated instruction and instructional materials, including traditional print, digital, and online resources, that capitalize on diversity.
  • Provide instructional formats that engage students as agents of their own learning.
Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach Candidates
  • Provide differentiated instruction and instructional materials, including traditional print, digital, and online resources, that capitalize on diversity.
  • Support classroom teachers in providing differentiated instruction and developing students as agents of their own literacy learning.
  • Support and lead other educators to recognize their own cultures in order to teach in ways that are responsive to students’ diverse backgrounds.
  • Collaborate with others to build strong home-to-school and school-to-home literacy connections.
  • Provide support and leadership to educators, parents and guardians, students, and other members of the school community in valuing the contributions of diverse people and traditions to literacy learning.
Teacher Educator Candidates
  • Engage preservice teachers and other reading professionals in multiple experiences and settings to strengthen their understandings about the ways that multiple identities of students intersect with curriculum orientations, literacy instruction, and student agency.
  • Collaborate with preservice teachers and other reading professionals to identify and advocate for forms of pedagogy, curriculum orientations, and professional development practices that focus on students’ diversity.
  • Provide opportunities for preservice teachers and other reading professionals to reflect on and evaluate literacy-related experiences aimed at providing responsive instruction that honors students’ diversity.
Administrator Candidates
  • Examine, evaluate, and articulate how instructional programs, curricular materials, and assessment practices impact the literacy outcomes of diverse students.
  • Identify human and material resources to effectively shape learning environments that are responsive to the various features of student diversity.

 

Element 4.3

Candidates develop and implement strategies to advocate for equity.

Education Support Personnel Candidates
  • Use their literacy skills to assist communities that are experiencing discrimination to overcome it (e.g., volunteer in the development of or teach in an adult literacy or English as a second language program).
Pre-K and Elementary Classroom Teacher Candidates
  • Provide students with linguistic, academic, and cultural experiences that link their communities with the school.
  • Advocate for change in societal practices and institutional structures that are inherently biased or prejudiced against certain groups.
  • Demonstrate how issues of inequity and opportunities for social justice activism and resiliency can be incorporated into the literacy curriculum.
Middle and High School Content Classroom Teacher Candidates
  • Provide students with linguistic, academic, and cultural experiences that link their backgrounds with content area learning.
  • Advocate for change in societal practices and institutional structures that are inherently biased or prejudiced against certain groups.
  • Demonstrate how issues of inequity and opportunities for social justice activism and resiliency in students’ communities can be incorporated into the content areas and literacy curriculum.
Middle and High School Reading Classroom Teacher Candidates
  • Provide students with linguistic, academic, and cultural experiences that link their communities with the school.
  • Advocate for change in societal practices and institutional structures that are inherently biased or prejudiced against certain groups.
  • Demonstrate how issues of inequity and opportunities for social justice activism and resiliency can be incorporated into the literacy curriculum.
Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach Candidates
  • Provide students with linguistic, academic, and cultural experiences that link their communities with the school.
  • Advocate for change in societal practices and institutional structures that are inherently biased or prejudiced against certain groups.
  • Demonstrate how issues of inequity and opportunities for social justice activism and resiliency can be incorporated into the literacy curriculum.
  • Collaborate with teachers, parents and guardians, and administrators to implement policies and instructional practices that promote equity and draw connections between home and community literacy and school literacy.
Teacher Educator Candidates
  • Prepare, coach, and collaborate with preservice teachers and other reading professionals to respond to literacy practices, both in and out of school, that are inequitable and unfair and replace them with practices that are equitable and fair.
  • Provide and promote experiences for reading professionals that reflect and nurture the ideas of tolerance and equity.
Administrator Candidates
  • Ensure that school contexts, structures, and teachers’ professional practices are supportive of, responsive to, and respectful of teachers’, students’, and families’ diversity.
  • Collaborate with all stakeholders to mobilize efforts to be responsive to students’ diversity.

Research and Supporting Literature

The content of this standard reflects our interpretation of the professional literature in the area of teacher preparation in reading as related to issues of diversity. Some of these readings are foundational to education and teacher preparation generally, whereas others are specific to reading teacher preparation. Not exhaustive of this literature, the following list of readings represents the work of many key theorists, researchers, and educators:

Au, K.H., & Raphael, T.E. (2000). Equity and literacy in the next millennium. Reading Research Quarterly, 35(1), 170–188. doi:10.1598/RRQ.35.1.12

Delpit, L. (2006). Other people’s children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. New York: New Press.

Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.

Gollnick, D.M., & Chinn, P.C. (2008). Multicultural education in a pluralistic society (8th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

González, N., Moll, L.C., & Amanti, C. (2005). Funds of knowledge: Theorizing practices in households, communities, and classrooms. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Gunderson, L. (2007). English-only instruction and immigrant students in secondary schools: A critical examination. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Ladson-Billings, G. (2001). Crossing over to Canaan: The journey of new teachers in diverse classrooms. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Ladson-Billings, G. (2009). The dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Rogers, R., & Mosley, M. (2006). Racial literacy in a second-grade classroom: Critical race theory, whiteness studies, and literacy research. Reading Research Quarterly, 41(4), 462–495. doi:10.1598/RRQ.41.4.3

Smith, G.P. (1998). Common sense about uncommon knowledge: The knowledge bases for diversity. Washington, DC: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Thornton, H. (2006). Dispositions in action: Do dispositions make a difference in practice? Teacher Education Quarterly, 33(2), 53–68.

Valenzuela, A. (1999). Subtractive schooling: U.S.-Mexican youth and the politics of caring. Albany: State University of New York Press.